Turkey's new ambassador to Israel to start on Dec. 12


A diplomatic official said on Friday that Turkey's new ambassador to Israel, Kemal Ökem, will begin his duties on Dec. 12.
Kemal Ökem, a former foreign policy chief adviser to Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, will assume his duties as Turkey's new ambassador to Israel after presenting his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin, the official said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Before working for Yıldırım, Ökem advised former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. He worked for the Foreign Ministry's Middle East directorate and was previously posted overseas in Turkey's London and Riyadh embassies, according to the Foreign Ministry. He also spent time working as the permanent representative to NATO.

Ökem was informed about his new post on Nov. 15, the same day Israel's Foreign Ministry nominated Eitan Naeh as its new ambassador to Turkey.

Born in Ankara in 1967, Ökem graduated from Middle East Technical University, completed a masters and doctorate at the Ankara-based university and he also has a master's degree from Oxford University.

Turkey and Israel renewed ties in June following a six-year split over the attack on the Mavi Marmara aid ship in May 2010, when Israeli commandos killed 10 Turkish activists on the Gaza-bound vessel.

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